Multicultural Mental Health Forum

Building Bridges, Opening Doors

Featuring Australia's Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane.

Date: Friday 7 July 2017 
Time: 8.30am-1.00pm
Venue: Bendat Community Centre, Wembley
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Registrations have now closed.

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About the Forum

The concept of a pre-conference forum was developed to allow a more in-depth exploration of a specific topic, than is practical within normal conference program constraints.

The 2016 pre-conference forum was extremely popular and well received, exploring Aboriginal Mental Health issues. Following this success, this year's topic explores cultural diversity and mental health.

Almost half of all Australians were born in another country or have a parent who was born overseas, and culture can play a huge part in attitudes to mental health issues and willingness to seek help. Language barriers, social isolation and discrimination experiences can create further complexities.

With the generous support of Event Sponsor Richmond Wellbeing and Government Partner Office of Multicultural Interests, this forum will be an inclusive, half-day professional exchange, open to all conference delegates and the wider community and will be held at the Bendat Community Centre.

The event theme is 'Building Bridges, Opening Doors' which captures our focus on strategies for reaching out and engaging culturally and linguistically diverse communities and the culturally sensitive sharing of mental health information.


The event will be designed to be culturally inclusive and interactive, promoting discussion and exploration of issues and the objectives are:

  • To develop and strengthen WA’s multicultural mental health and associated sectors.
  • To provide specialist professional development and collaboration opportunities for both mental health and multicultural workers and other services touched by these issues.
  • To provide a forum for resource sharing, ideas exchange and collaboration.
  • To link mental health and cultural diversity to related issues and vulnerable populations and promote cross-sector communication and support.
  • To raise the profile of multicultural mental health issues and promote positive attitudes to mental health in diverse communities.


The program has been developed with extensive consultation with people with lived experience, sector agencies and multicultural mental health experts.

The event will feature:

  • Australia's Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane (NSW)
    Dr Soutphommasane will be the Forum's keynote speaker and special guest and give the keynote address, Racism, harm and resilience. The psychological impacts of racism can be profound and complex. This speech will explore resilience and the experiences of the victims, observers and perpetrators of racism.

  • Transcultural Mental Health Specialist Dr Bernadette Wright as event MC

  • Materno Biwott 
    South Sudanese refugee and proud representative of the Acholi Community Association in WA, shares his own compelling personal story of culture, mental health and recovery.

  • Karen Lee Seymour 
    Psychologist and educator shares what she has learned from working with children from refugee backgrounds.

  • Generational Differences Panel
    Hosted by Dr Wright, with all our speakers.

  • Plenty of discussion, debate and networking opportunities

  • Live world music and delicious multicultural morning tea and an Ethiopian coffee ceremony.


WAAMH extends warm thanks to our Event Supporters, who will be represented on the day: 

  • Pakistanis in Australia
  • Immigrant Business Networking Association
  • Protective Behaviours WA
  • South Sudan Public Health Forum Inc.
  • Consumers of Mental Health WA
  • Mental Illness Fellowship of WA
  • Fremantle Multicultural Centre Inc.
  • Brain Ambulance Pty Ltd
  • Health Consumers' Council (WA) Inc
  • Mental Health Matters 2
  • Relationships Australia WA
  • The Samaritans
  • Association for Services to Torture and Trauma Survivors (ASeTTS)
  • Ethnic Disability Advocacy Centre

With thanks to:

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